Coming from a background of theological gallimaufry it quickly became clear once I began studying Reformed theology that I had a lot of unlearning and relearning onward.
One of the areas where I believe I was vastly inept, and continue to wrestle through, is in the area of FORGIVENESS.
“Before we can enter into any lasting relationship with another, we must learn how to forgive since we all hurt one another. The Bible says, “forgiving one another…” If does not simply say, ‘forgiving others,” but, “forgiving one another.” It is a mutual cooperative adventure. Not only do we need to forgive, we also need to receive forgiveness. It is the indispensible sign of a Christian.”
I had been taught strands of the therapeutic and worldly views for the most part. Not the Biblical view. There were certain Biblical elements but these views left gaping holes where TRUTH was absent and authentic reconciliation was void or not even the mission.
In From Forgiven to Forgiving, Dr. Adams begins by establishing the foundation that forgiveness is our greatest need.
“Forgiveness – what a wonderful thing it is! Forgiveness is man’s greatest need. Without it he is doomed to spend eternity in hell suffering for his sins. With it, he will spend eternity in heaven with God enjoying the eternal fruits of Christ’s righteousness.”
He provides a definition of what forgiveness is and the task of walking out forgiveness in a Biblical manner through a multitude of scenarios though not exhaustive by any means.
“Now, what is that declaration? What does God do when He goes on record saying that our sins are forgiven? God makes a promise. Forgiveness is not a feeling; forgiveness is a promise!”
One prominent aspect was the understanding that forgiveness is not simply a feeling. It helped to liken it to our own salvation for the times when we don’t feel saved. Embracing the knowledge that we are not saved through how we feel but rather through the merciful act of Christ upon his crucifixion.
There’s great assurance in this understanding that will bring comfort to the weary soul while providing Biblical guidance in applying forgiveness in our daily lives; not out of feeling but out of love and obedience.
“The evidence is clear that all sin is sin against God, but also that much sin is also against man.”
Dr. Adams addresses many facets and misconceptions of forgiveness such as forgiving ourselves, the concept of apologizing, deciphering guilt and what to do with it, restitution and many others.
“Forgiveness is clearing the rubble of the past so that something fresh and fine may be built in its place.”
From Forgiven to Forgiving is a volume I will revisit often in light of Scripture when the need arises and offer it to others as a resource for their personal lives and counseling shelves.
“Joy – nothing less – should be the result of forgiveness.”